One of the many new additions to ChemDoodle version 1.2.1 is the inclusion of advanced chemical document settings and formatting options.

In order to provide the depth involved with chemical document formatting, a few other features needed to be included first. Those features are the ability to resize the Doodle Sheet, advanced scaling transformations, improved and enhanced object properties, and a handful of prepared chemical document formats.

Before version 1.2.1, the Doodle Sheet was set at 8.5″ x 11″. This meant that other sizes necessary for publication, such as 1 or 2 column layouts were not possible, nor were non-US sized paper, as metric printers require. No longer is this an issue as the Doodle Sheet is now completely resizable. Simply choose the the Resize Doodle Sheet… menu item in the Edit menu to bring up the dialog shown below.

This dialog allows you to easily alter the width and height of the doodle sheet. You may select from the various standard preset sizes, or enter the height and width of your choosing. The units can be changed to suit any measurements, however only pixels, inches, centimeters and millimeters are currently allowed. More units may be added in the future, so let me know if you would like to see any others included.

The chemical bond settings have been completely redone, with a better interface, more options and more precise measurements. As always, these properties can be changed in the Preferences dialog.

Included are bond length, saturated spacing (the distance between the parallel lines in multiline bonds), clip angle (the angle that inner saturated bonds are clipped at; useful in rings), bond line thickness, bold bond thickness, wedge thickness, hash width, hash spacing, and hash offset. As with all measurements in ChemDoodle now, the units may be changed to adhere to different standards. Also in the bond settings tab are the choices for when double bonds will be symmetrical, whether saturated spacing should be absolute or relative to the bond length, and whether thin hashed bonds should be even. Bond caps may also be chosen here, with Round caps being the best for joined bonds.

Having to manually perfect these settings for each new document may become tedious, so a function for saving the current chemical document settings as a file is provided as well as a number of standard document formats. To save the current chemical document settings, just click on the Create Chemical Document Settings File in the General tab of the Preferences dialog.

The ensuing dialog will ask for a title, page size, and preferred font. After filling out the form and clicking the Ok button, the file will be saved in the presets folder located in the main ChemDoodle application folder. Any personal or third party chemical document settings files should be placed in this folder so that ChemDoodle can find them when it loads.

There are two ways to use chemical document settings. The first is by creating a new formatted Doodle Sheet by selecting the New Formatted Document menu item in the File menu or by clicking on the corresponding button in the first button row. The second way is to conform a previously created document by choosing the Conform Document… menu item in the Edit menu. These options provide you with a set of official chemical document settings, personal and third party document settings and the default settings saved as your preferences; these functions also allow you to override the page size before finalizing. Upon completion, if the bond length has changed, you will be given the option to scale all objects appropriately.

These new features will make chemical document formatting easy and quick, especially when abiding to any publishing standards. As always, if you have any suggestions or questions about these new features, feel free to comment on this story or send me an email.